An overnight fire destroyed the Dixie Lee restaurant in Bouctouche, as well as two other businesses and some apartments.
The fire started at about 10:30 p.m. Monday and destroyed the restaurant and the adjacent Pomona Raw Fusion smoothie business, the Bouctouche Flower Shop and some apartments.
No injuries were reported.
Residents of neighbouring houses were evacuated as a precaution, but the fire was able to be contained.
By the time the sun came up on Tuesday, firefighters were still trying to put out hotspots, said Grand-Bouctouche Mayor Aldéo Saulnier.
The fire started at about 10:30 p.m. on Monday. Bouctouche firefighters were assisted by the Saint-Antoine and Moncton fire departments. (Submitted by Stéphane Cormier)
"It's a complete loss," he told Information Morning Moncton.
Saulnier said there were three businesses on the first floor and apartments on the top floor.
"There was like, I think it was five apartments altogether.
"So, yeah, so this morning, we were going to be in contact with the people that were living there and see how they're going to manage to find a place or try to help them to find a place somewhere," said Saulnier.
The Dixie Lee building was more than 70 years old, said Grand-Bouctouche Mayor Aldéo Saulnier. (Louis-Philippe LeBlanc/Radio-Canada)
Saulnier said the buildings were located in the heart of the downtown and that businesses were well established.
"They told me this morning that the building … is over 70 years of age. So there has been a lot of different business into this building."
Saulnier said the fire is the "talk of the town today for sure."
Other fire departments assisted
Saulnier said the town had assistance from the Saint-Antoine and Moncton fire departments.
He said firefighters "were watering down the building next door on both sides" on Tuesday morning. He said he thought damage would be minimal to those buildings.
He estimated the loss to be "over a million for sure."
"So to replace this today, it's going to cost a lot of money if they want to do exactly what they had before. So I don't know. I haven't talked to the owner yet, so I don't know what his plan is going to be."
Firefighters were still putting out hot spots when the sun came up on Tuesday. (Louis-Philippe LeBlanc/Radio-Canada)
Even if the owner plans to rebuild, Saulnier said, it will be months before another building is started.
"So I mean we're in the winter, so it will take some time. The planning for doing something else is going to take a while just by the insurance and all those people have to go through all the documents and everything, so it will be a while."